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Westerman, Wittman Introduce Legislation Protecting Hunting, Fishing Access for Sportsmen


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 30, 2022 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and 34 other members introduced the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2022.

"Some of my earliest memories are of hunting and fishing near my home in Arkansas, so it's extremely alarming to see the Biden administration attempting to restrict access for the millions of Americans who use traditional ammo and tackle on federal land," Westerman said. "Sportsmen and women are some of the best conservationists we have, because they know the importance of sustainably utilizing our resources to leave them in even better condition for future generations. A blanket ban on lead ammo and tackle will do nothing but impede Americans' ability to responsibly recreate like they have been for years. This legislation will prevent any such bans in the future unless it is supported at the state level and by science and will continue promoting access for all."

"I am happy to introduce the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2022 with my colleague Bruce Westerman, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee," Wittman said. "As an avid hunter and angler, I find the Biden Administration’s attempt to restrict access for the nation’s sportsmen and women who use traditional lead fishing tackle and ammo on federal lands and waters, to be upsetting. This wholesale prohibition will only serve to incumber our sportsmen’s ability to responsibly hunt and fish. The Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act prevents the Administration from banning lead ammo and tackle on federal lands and waters, unless such a regulation is consistent with state law and supported by science. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this legislation and continue to promote access to recreation for millions of Americans."

Background

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently entered into settlement negotiations with activist litigants over a lawsuit regarding the use of traditional ammunition and lead on more than3 million acres of federal land.

This spring, Westerman joined members of the Congressional Western Caucus on a letter urging FWS to abandon settlement negotiations and defend hunting access for sportsmen and women across the country. Shortly thereafter, FWS issued a rule that would phase out the use of lead ammunition on at least five National Wildlife Refuges in Virginia, West Virginia and Maine.

Two weeks ago, FWS issued a final rule which opened new hunting and fishing opportunities, but it also phased out use of lead ammunition by 2026 on some lands.

Read the full legislative text here.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-225-2761

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